Board of Directors
Shahan Soghikian, MBA, Chair
Shahan Soghikian is a co-founder of Panorama Capital, a venture capital firm focused on technology, life sciences and consumer investments. He serves on the board of directors for Q-Centrix and inMarket and on the limited partner advisory committee of Samsara BioCapital. He has a bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College, for which he now serves as a trustee. He earned his master of business administration degree from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
David Beier, JD
David Beier has provided expertise in health care policy and economics to the federal government and state governments, various nonprofits, a law firm, an investment firm and biotech companies. He serves on the Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, as well as on the boards of directors for Infinity Pharmaceuticals and the Steinberg Institute, a nonprofit focused on improving public policy related to mental health. He has a bachelor's degree in history from Colgate University and a law degree from Union University's Albany Law School.
Valli Benesch, JD
Valli Benesch is co-CEO of Fritzi Realty, a real estate management and development company. Previously, she was co-CEO of Fritzi California, an apparel design and manufacturing firm. She is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and past chair of YPO Gold Northern California. She is a Wexner Heritage Program fellow and a member of the advisory council for the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. She serves on the boards of Jewish Family and Children’s Services and the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Stanford University and a law degree from the University of Chicago.
Angela Glover Blackwell
Angela Glover Blackwell is founder-in-residence at PolicyLink, an organization that advocates to improve access and opportunities for low-income people and communities of color through public policy, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation and infrastructure. She is a professor of practice at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and host of the “Radical Imagination” podcast.
Farah Champsi, MBA
Farah Champsi is a partner at Population Health Partners, an investment firm focused on the life sciences. Previously, she was a venture capital investor at Alta Partners and at InterWest Partners as a managing director and general partner. She has raised more than $1 billion in venture funds, served on the boards of 14 public and private companies, and led investments in many premier biotechnology companies, including Kite Pharma (acquired by Gilead for $11.9 billion in 2017). She has a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a master of business administration degree from Stanford University. She is a trustee of Smith College and Charles Armstrong School.
Matthew Cook, MBA
Matthew Cook is president of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals and senior vice president of Children's Services at UCSF Health. He oversees strategic direction, operations and clinical services for all pediatric care in Oakland and San Francisco and partners with academic programs within UCSF. Cook earned his bachelor's degrees from the Wharton School and a master of business administration degree from New York University.
Natalie Cvijanovich, MD
Dr. Natalie Cvijanovich is medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit and president of the medical staff at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. She is also a pediatrician who specializes in caring for children who are in critical condition resulting from traumatic injury, infection, cancer, other illnesses or surgery. Cvijanovich earned her medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine. She completed a residency in general pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine, serving as chief resident. She completed a fellowship in pediatric critical care medicine at the University of Utah Primary Children's Hospital.
Henry DeNero, MBA
Henry DeNero has held executive positions at Dayton-Hudson Corporation (now Target Corporation), as well as several other companies, and was a senior partner at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. He also has served on the board of directors of several public companies and nonprofit organizations. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Amherst College and a master of business administration degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He served in the United States Navy as an officer.
Diane Dietz is a former CEO of the Rodan and Fields skin care company. Previously, from 2008 to 2015, she served as chief marketing officer for Safeway. She has also held executive positions at Procter & Gamble in its health and beauty sector. She has served on Whirlpool Corporation’s board of directors since 2013 and Nuro robotic company’s board of directors since 2021. She has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and economics from Northern Illinois University.
Maria Echaveste, JD
Maria Echaveste is president and CEO of the Opportunity Institute. She also serves on the board of directors of Cadiz Inc. (a natural resources company), Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Mi Familia Vota. She has built a distinguished career working as a public policy consultant, lecturer, senior White House official, community leader and corporate attorney. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Stanford University and a law degree from the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Suresh Gunasekaran, MBA
Suresh Gunasekaran is president and chief executive officer of UCSF Health and oversees UCSF Health's expanding network of affiliated health care organizations throughout Northern California. He leads the execution of UCSF Health's vision and the institution’s next phase of growth, revitalization and innovation, including in the area of technology. He has more than 20 years of experience in health care administration and information technology, with a focus on quality and safety, patient service, collaboration and operational excellence. His previous role was CEO of University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and associate vice president for University of Iowa Health Care. He earned a master of business administration degree, graduating with honors, from Southern Methodist University.
Samir Kaul, MBA
Samir Kaul is a founding partner and managing director at Khosla Ventures, where he focuses on health, sustainability, food and advanced technology investments. He has a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Michigan, and he studied biochemistry at the University of Maryland. He earned a master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.
Tim Kendall, MBA
Tim Kendall invests in companies that embody the philosophy of "tech for good.” He is the former president of Pinterest, where he held leadership positions in product development, engineering, marketing and sales. Before joining Pinterest, he was Facebook’s director of monetization, leading the development of Facebook’s advertising business. He earned his engineering degree and master of business administration degree from Stanford University.
Talmadge E. King, Jr, MD
Dr. Talmadge E. King Jr. is vice chancellor of medical affairs and dean of the UCSF School of Medicine, a role he has held since 2015. A pulmonologist with special expertise in interstitial lung disease, he has published more than 300 medical papers and co-authored eight books, including the acclaimed reference manual Interstitial Lung Disease. He holds the Julius R. Krevans Distinguished Professorship in Internal Medicine at UCSF. King earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School, then completed a residency in internal medicine at Emory University and a fellowship in pulmonology at the University of Colorado Denver.
Carolyn Klebanoff, MD
Dr. Carolyn Klebanoff is a retired internal medicine specialist who practiced in Berkeley for 36 years. She chairs the board of trustees at Dominican University of California. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Yale University and her medical degree from UCSF. She completed an internal medicine residency in the UCSF program at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.
Steven Klein, MBA
Steven Klein is the founder and CEO of Bridge Partners, a private equity real estate firm with investments throughout the United States. He is also vice president of the BASIC Fund, a privately funded organization that provides scholarships for children of low-income families in the Bay Area. An alumnus of the University of California, Davis, he now serves on the UC Davis chancellor’s board of advisors. He earned his master of business administration degree from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Chris Kwei is the founder and president of an Oakland-based automotive dealership group, where he has served as dealer principal for more than 20 years. He is also the founder and managing principal of an Oakland-based real estate development firm specializing in urban infill developments; multifamily homes; and office, retail and hospitality properties. He serves on the boards of directors for the Lake Merritt – Uptown District Association and Downtown Oakland District Association as well as on the board of CoachArt, a nonprofit that connects children who have chronic illnesses with opportunities to learn arts and sports. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley.
Robert Pedrero, MBA
Robert Pedrero is the president of Pharr Inc., a family investment firm. As an entrepreneur, he has founded and sold companies in the real estate, telecommunications and publishing industries. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Dartmouth College and his master of business administration degree at Stanford University.
Elisa Stad’s career as a marketing executive includes expanding consumer brands globally at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. She launched Benefit Cosmetics in more than 40 countries. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern California and now serves on the board of councilors for the USC Marshall School of Business. She has completed the Asian international executive program at INSEAD. In 2021, she co-founded the Stad Center for Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals.
Lisa Walsh, MBA
Lisa Walsh was a partner in the San Francisco office of the Bridgespan Group, a global nonprofit that provides management consulting and other support to mission-driven leaders, organizations, philanthropists and investors. She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from the University of California, Davis and her master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School.
Robin Washington, MBA
Robin Washington is a member of the boards of directors of Alphabet Inc., Honeywell International and Salesforce. She also serves on the University of Michigan’s presidents council and the advisory board of the institution’s Ross School of Business. She is a member of the Financial Accounting Foundation's board of trustees. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at the University of Michigan and her master of business administration degree at Pepperdine University.
Gregor Watson has been an entrepreneur and investor in the real estate and financial technology industries for more than a decade, co-founding businesses that include Roofstock, Lessen, Azibo and Creative Juice. Also a pioneer in single-family rentals, he founded one of the industry’s largest lending platforms, which he sold to Blackstone. More recently, he co-founded 1Sharpe Capital, where he serves on the investment and operating committees and leads many strategic investments.
Carrie Wheeler is CEO of Opendoor, a leading e-commerce platform for residential real estate, and serves on its board of directors. Previously, she worked for the international private investment firm TPG Global for more than two decades. She has served on the boards of numerous companies, including Dollar Tree, Neiman Marcus and Petco, and currently serves on the board of APi Group. She earned a bachelor of commerce degree with honors from Queen's University in Canada.
Melissa Williams, MBA
Melissa Williams is the executive producer of Second Peninsula, a production company that creates video content for PBS NewsHour and other organizations. She is co-founder and co-chair of Notes & Words, a benefit concert series for UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland that has raised more than $15 million since its inception in 2010. She has a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering from the University of Virginia and a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School.
Edward Penhoet, PhD
Edward Penhoet is associate dean of biology at the University of California, Berkeley and professor emeritus of biochemistry and of health policy and management. He was a founder of Chiron Corporation, a pioneer in the business of biotechnology, and served as CEO from 1981 to 1998. He was president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation from 2004 to 2008. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University and his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Washington. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego.
Board of Directors
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
747 52nd Street
Oakland, CA 94609
Fetal surgery firsts